The RKD’s Archives Collection currently comprises almost 2.5 kilometres of archival material from artists, artists’ societies, art historians, art critics, gallery owners, art dealers, collectors, restorers, designers and others.

The private archives held by the RKD vary greatly in size and content. An artist’s archive, for example, may consist of: personal documents such as passports, diplomas, correspondence, diaries and other notebooks, work and project files, but also membership cards, documents relating to the artist’s involvement in exhibitions, sales books, texts for lectures and presentations, sketches, preparatory studies, photographs, videos, sound recordings, invitations and other printed paraphernalia.

The RKD is home to around 900 archives. An overview of all the archives in the collection can be found in the RKDcollections database. Archives for which an inventory is available can be found using the RKDarchives database.

Consulting archives at the RKD

The archives can be consulted at the RKD in The Hague but you need to submit a request in advance.

  • Archive requests must be submitted at least 2 working days ahead of your visit, using
  • For archives from Special Collections, please allow a minimum of 7 days; requests are to be placed through You can check in the RKDcollections database whether an archive belongs to Special Collections.
  • Some archives are subject to publicity restrictions. More information on restricted access to items in the Archive Collections can be found here.


Before letting you consult an archive at the RKD, we ask you to complete this form. This is because under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Dutch GDPR Implementation Law (Uitvoeringswet Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming) sensitive or ‘special category’ personal data can be processed for scientific or historical research or for statistical purposes only if certain data protection principles are met. You can view the requested archive once you have completed the form and it has been signed by an RKD staff member and yourself. If you are unable to answer certain questions fully, please state the reason. You can also fill out the form at home and bring it along on your next visit.

Rules for consulting the archives

  • Archives must be consulted on the round tables in front of the study room desk.
  • Notes may be taken in pencil only.
  • Please handle archival documents with the utmost care, making sure you follow all guidance given.
  • The archival material will be brought to you on a trolley; please do not place more than one archive box on the table at a time.
  • Please keep the documents in their original order. If you have any queries in this regard, consult a study room staff member.
  • Once you have finished consulting the archive, we ask you to sign out at the study room desk and return the archive records there.
  • The RKD has the right to check visitors’ personal work material when they hand in archival documents.
  • The security coordinator will be notified if something seems to be missing from the archive consulted. The RKD may check CCTV footage.

Photography of archival objects

The following conditions apply to photography of archival objects:

  • Public archives may be photographed only for the purpose of personal research.
  • Photographs must not be distributed or published, either on paper or digitally, for example the internet or social media.
  • Archives may not be photographed in their entirety.
  • Professional photographic equipment may not be used.
  • Flash photography is prohibited.
  • Permission must be sought in advance for archives that are partly/to a limited extent public (requests should go in advance to